Q&A – Apple Card Followup // Product Transparency // Who am I?

Continued Q&A on outcome of carrying the Apple Card for 5 months, why review transparency and removal of bias is so important, why do my wallet review requests take so long and why do I do this?

(if you want to see all the features and how many cards and cash it can hold, please watch the video)

Today’s post will be a Q&A. Despite the many means YouTube provides us to communicate, it can still be very limiting. There are many times I wish I could have better conversations with you, especially when I need to clarify things or you present me with pressing questions. Therefore, these little Q&A’s allow us to connect a bit more.

Question number one is a follow up to my Apple card video which I posted about five months ago in a previous Q&A. I have been carrying the Apple card in all of my carry test wallets since that time. There has been very little wear and tear despite some discoloration occurring over the past five months. None of the finish came off and it doesn’t seem to have been affected in a bad way. Granted, I have not been pulling the card in and out the wallets. It has just been placed in a card slot with other cards moving around next to it.

Question number two is about how metal credit cards, like the Apple Card work in the STOW wallet. I have two metal cards and they snap right in, just like you would expect any card to do. It is not a problem. Metal cards work just fine in the STOW.

Question number three is what do I do with all of the wallets I review? This is a very popular question. I keep them for comparative reviews and carry tests. However, I do give them away from time to time for people who subscribe to the mailing list at walletopia.info. I also send out all of the discounts we negotiate with manufacturers as we get them to the same mailing list. By subscribing to the mailing list, you are always notified when we have new discounts or when new videos are posted.

For question number four, I would like to discuss review transparency and bias on this channel. Some of you know that this is very important to me because, as a social influencer, brands are constantly hitting you up for marketing purposes. This is definitely what they do and it is what social influencers do. At Walletopia we don’t seek them out despite being presented with very attractive contracts. The reason why we don’t do this, is because social influencer contracts restrict what I can say and the types of reviews I do. For example, the majority of the companies would prefer I don’t do comparative reviews, which is what I often do. As you know, a major principle of this channel is that we don’t accept wallets from manufacturers for free in exchange for a review.

However, to clarify a few situations, I do accept free wallets for giveaways when offered, but this is only after I have purchased my own wallet from them to review. The principle of this channel is to remove as much bias as possible. There is really a natural positive bias that comes through when you get something for free, despite the understanding that you’re under no obligation.

Of course this does end up costing me quite a lot of money, but in the end, I can say what I want because I have purchased all of the wallets and I am not obligated to any company. This is so critical, because despite the high cost, of which this channel is far from covering financially, I want to ensure that you trust what is being provided to you, in a truthful review that you can come to your own conclusion without being manipulated by influencers.

For the fifth question, I often get asked when a wallet that has been requested will be reviewed. Many of you request reviews for particular wallets, which is great. I have asked for this and appreciate getting these requests. This is how we find new wallets from around the world. Ironically, I am really surprised at how many wallets I already have in our inventory when they are requested, which is awesome because we can get them planned, but for those I don’t, I put them on the purchase list and we order them. Based on popularity, personal interest or especially requests from you, the community, a wallet is scheduled for a review. All that said, I have wallet reviews recorded and uploaded a month or more in advance, so new reviews can take time to see.

Having said this, when you make a request and it’s garnered enough momentum in additional requests, it could still take upwards of a month before it shows up. Please continue making requests as it helps me prioritize wallets for review, but understand it will take some time before the review will be posted.

For the final question: I get asked a lot about who I am and why I do this? Who is Mark Ward? Well, lots of guesses have come in over the months, some of which are very flattering. I appreciate that, but really I am a guy in my early fifties who has worked in high tech and healthcare industries my entire career. I have been involved in six startups, four which I did myself, as well as assisting other people. I have collected wallets my entire life and realized this is really fun and I love to do it, so being able to share it with you is part of the fun.

Of course you have probably noticed that I have fountain pens. I collect Pelikan fountain pens. Since technology is overtaking our lives, especially since I have been involved in it since about 1989 or so, I wanted to do something that was very deliberate, not something that was just typing, writing is very deliberate, so that’s why I do it. I also collect Citizen watches. I used to own some very expensive watches, but I sold them so I could get more Citizens. Having spent time in Japan, as some of you know, I appreciate these timepieces.

There you go. If you have any other questions, please send them my way.

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